Eritrea condemned the terrorist attack that left at least 68 people dead at an upscale Nairobi shopping mall on Saturday, vowing to show solidarity with the Kenyan people and its government.
In a letter delivered by Eritrean Foreign Minister to his Kenyan counterpart, Eritrea offered its condolences to Kenyans and strongly condemned the militant group al-Shabab for carrying out the attacks.
SEMG's credibility in question
But some regional observers have noted Eritrea will likely be blamed for these attacks by the Somali Eritrean Monitoring Group (SEMG), which has an infamous track record of blaming every violent incident in East Africa towards Eritrea.
The SEMG is arguably one of the most corrupt and dishonest UN panels to date. Not only is its annual report filled with gossip and lacks evidence for its claims, but it oversteps its mandate and neglects key countries who are responsible for destabilizing the entire region, too.
Indeed, a growing number of countries at the Security Council have caught on to the SEMG's lack of professionalism and neutrality, particularly against Eritrea. Russia, China, Italy, Togo, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Rwanda, Norway, and Somalia have all voiced their disappointment with SEMG's biased methodology.
The most critical of the SEMG is Vitaly Churkin, the Russian Ambassador to the U.N., who wrote a letter to Ambassador Kim Sook, chairman of the sanctions committee, saying his country “objects to the publication of the (Eritrea) report due to the biased and groundless conclusions and recommendations contained in it.”
Despite the monitoring group admitting it has no evidence to link Eritrea with funding, arming or politically supporting al-Shabab in anyway, it nevertheless continues to scapegoat Eritrea based on hearsay and innuendos that would be thrown out of any courthouse for lack of evidence.
Eritrea’s UN envoy said Asmara has petitioned the Security Council to lift sanctions on his country after a monitoring group said it found no evidence that Eritrea supports the Somali-based Islamist militant group al-Shabab. - VOANews
When asked by an Ethiopian if Eritrea supports al-Shabab, Mohamud Suleiman, the Minister of Finance and Planning of the Federal Republic of Somalia, made it clear that his government does not have any evidence to suggest Eritrea is arming warlords or al-Shabab and described the UN Monitoring Group as "irresponsible and very misleading."
.@Ethiopia_Abebe I have no evidence to suggest Eritrea is arming warlords or al shabaab. UN report is irresponsible and very misleading.
— Mohamud H Suleiman (@MohamudSuleiman) July 25, 2013
Even James Schneider, a longtime critic of Eritrea for a London-based African think tank, has doubts with SEMG's credibility:
Is it just me or does the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea seem not that great and not that impartial?
— James Schneider (@schneiderhome) July 18, 2013
In fact, the UN Monitoring Group is so dishonest and biased towards Eritrea and Somalia, that talks of a UN Monitoring Group to monitor the SEMG are being considered as a solution.
The UN Security Council is considering establishing an independent panel that will have the authority to review and verify annual reports of the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea before they are published, a source has told Sahan Journal.
Although Eritrea has one of the most impressive and longest track records of fighting al-Qaeda in Africa, including Osama Bin Laden himself, the SEMG wants its readers to believe that a secular government in Asmara, which shares no borders with Somalia, is to blame for its conflicts. Luckily, however, there are some U.S. officials that see through the lies and call it how it is:
“If there is one country where the fighting of extremists and terrorists was a priority when it mattered, it was Eritrea,” said Ted Dagne, an Africa specialist for the Congressional Research Service. - New York Times
|H.E. Osman Saleh, Eritrea's Foreign Minister|